Do you ever get into that rut when all your solos kind of sound the same. That's what I keep doing. Pisses me off.
Learn new scales. I take it you know the Pentatonic minor, try the Harmonic minor
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Stratocaster fan...
Look into different styles of music like classical, blues, and jazz.

Edit: Oh yes, and do study the music like Vai does. Even with just one scale, you can make all sorts of sounds. You don't always have to fully bend a note or slide at a certain speed, nor do you have to play one note and switch to another. Phrasing is key.
Last edited by Eminored at Oct 21, 2007,
learn the solos of the people who inspire you, and not just in whatever genre you play in. dont just learn them either, study them and figure out why they seem to work
Good advice.

And for the record, Eminored, I've seen you around the Pit a lot, and your sig never gets old.
learn different scales and learn differnt style licks and take bits and pieces of licks u lick i recomend the Aeolian scale i think thats how its spelled
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Here's a few just to show you some stuff. And, no, there's no problem in using scales. Even people who don't know they're using scales use them. It's the difference between learning English by talking and actually studying the language (grammar/spelling).
I find it really hard to solo in scales. Im not one of these ignorant ****s who thinks it takes away all your emotion and stuff, but i find it really damn well hard. Any tips, aside from just practice it?

Most beginning improvisors think that within a scale, all notes are created equal. This is simply not true, you will find yourself hitting the 3 tonic tones far more often then you do any other notes, simply because those tones are the strongest. I suggest that you begin familiarizing yourself with the different tones within a scale and which note combinations work (for example you will find that playing chord tones on the downbeat has a very strong structural effect). Also when just learning to improvise, try to concentrate on one "style" first, for example either try to make a very strong rhythmic phrase or sequence, and then later concentrate on improvising lyrical lines. As you get better begin combining, but when you are just learning keep things simple.
I wonder why nobody has mentioned Melodic Control yet.
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Learn Jazz - specifically Bop. Or even swing jazz and you can learn a great deal of improvisation from that as well.
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Ok so take 1 scale that you know and just for a good amount of time play around with it do things you would never do with it and figure out a whole lot of diffrent ways tou play things. Play around with the scale slow then fast untill you start getting new ideas or think of a story to tell through the solo... im sayin this stuff because im a blues player and thats how i play.... try it out
Watch Scott Henderson's videos, "Melodic Phrasing", and "Jazz Improvisation".